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August 2013

Scuba diving in Borneo!

 

Borneo, Malaysia

 

Borneo is divided among three countries: Brunei (1%), Indonesia (73%) and Malaysia (26%).  It is the largest island in Asia and the third largest island in the world.   

 

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On this trip, we went to Kota Kinabalu, often referred to as KK, in Sabah Malaysia.  I am not sure how, but the hubby talked me into going scuba diving! 

 

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I am not afraid of the water, but I am claustrophobic!  The hubby was certified 30 years ago but never dove outside of a pool.  Another "bucket list" item for him.  He signed us up for a "discovery dive": one that  a five-year-old can do  :  )


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All in, you have about 70 extra pounds on your body.  Did you know they strap 20 pounds of extra weights around your waist to help with the buoyancy?  The tank and gear weigh around 50 pounds. 


Look at that crazed look in my eye.  I look like a deer in headlights.  I will admit I was PETRIFIED! 

 

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Here I am going under for the first time.  Note the photos are not the best quality; we were shooting through a plastic case.  But they are actually better than we were expecting. 

 

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Despite all the extra weight, you still float upward.  I am hanging onto our instructors arm for dear life in ALL of these photos.  And you will notice there are no photos of D as I was only able to concentrate on my breathing!

 

 

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And I held the regulator with my other hand... never letting go.

 

 

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Our dive conditions were so-so as there were heavy rains the day before.  We did two dives, both around 30 minutes.  We went about 25 feet deep on the second dive and the visibility was much better than the first dive.

 

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Here is the only shot of D!

 

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What did we see?  Coral and small fish.  Not quite the spectacular colors I was hoping for.  

 

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But it was still very interesting and quite beautiful.

 

 

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Did I love it?  No.  But, I am really glad I tried it, and the company we used was awesome (Borneo Dream Travel and Tour).  I think one time is enough for me... unless I could see the stunning colors like in the National Geographic Magazines!

 

 

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Unless you take full day adventure trip out of KK, there really isn't that much to do there.  But you have to wait a minimum of 18 hours after diving before you fly, so we relaxed the next day in KK and did a little shopping at the Sunday street market.

 

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They had excellent fresh-ground coffee beans, and it was cheap.  The young guy who sold it to us was having a good time.

 

 

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Food & Drinks:

Check out this soda flavor...

 

 

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As you know we always explore the local food scene.  Specialty items in KK... grilled chicken wings - D's favorite.

 

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And the biggest prawns I have ever seen!

 

 

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I had to have one of these.  I opted to have it grilled, no sauce.   It tasted like lobster and was delicious.


 

 

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We also had this very local dish called Caulerpa Lentillifera, also known as sea grapes or green caviar.  They are a form of seaweed.   It is said to be  high in minerals and to have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. 

 

 

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D said they made his tongue go numb and we were not sure they were cooked... or what they were washed in... or were they washed at all?  The next day I googled it and learned that some Caulerpa species produce toxins to protect themselves from browsing fish.  This also makes them toxic to humans.  Probably not one of our smarter "eats".

 

 

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Our chef

 

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How to clean your hands after messy chicken wings.

 

 

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 How about this sign?  This was NOT at the place we ate   :   )

 

 

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As we left Borneo, we got an excellent view of where we went scuba diving - and the visibility looked crystal clear!

 

 

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Scuba diving was certianly an adventure we will not forget.  Next week we venture back to Borneo to see the orangutans! 

 

 


ohhhhh Bali!

Bali, Indonesia

There is something special about Bali.  I have mentioned before that I am not a beach girl.  But when D said he had a trip to Bali, I was at the front door waiting. 

 

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He warned me.  It was a quick trip and no time for sight seeing.  I would be stranded at the resort in the very touristy town of Nusa Dua.  This means: at the beach for the entire four days.  By myself.  Okay, if I can sit in my art room on my computer for hours on end... I certainly could do it at a beach in Bali!

 

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We arrived Sunday afternoon so D did have a little free time to enjoy the beach.  Unfortunately it was raining lightly. I love this photo below. 

 

 

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Our hotel grounds were beautiful!  This is one of the pools below.  You could swim around the entire complex.  There were even parts that had sand on the bottom.

 

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The lovely view from our window.  Because of D's status with Starwood Hotels, we were upgraded to a suite for free. 

 

 

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D working!

 

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Seriously he did work this entire trip.  But, the conference was just next to our hotel and it was really fun forme to walk to work with him each morning.

 

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How about this for your walk to work?  Have a good day honey.... pick me up at the beach on your way home  :  )

 

 

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I enjoyed walking on the beach each morning.  Below is a photo of an offering; a small basket called "canang sari".  They offer them to the Gods three times a day filled with flowers and snacks.

 


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A little critter.

 

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And I enjoyed my quiet lunches on the beach.

 


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I have to admit...  I did not want to leave.  See...  I can relax on a beach!  Until next time beautiful Bali...

 

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